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Small business optimism at second highest level

The Small Business Optimism Index climbed to the second-highest level in history in May, with small businesses reporting great numbers in several key areas.

The index rose by three points to 107.8 in May, while tax cuts and regulatory changes contributed to increased compensation, positive earnings and sales trends.

“Main Street optimism is on a stratospheric trajectory thanks to recent tax cuts and regulatory changes. For years, owners have continuously signaled that when taxes and regulations ease, earnings and employee compensation increase,” said National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The May report included several record-setting data points. Employee compensation increases hit a 45-year high at a record net 35%, positive earnings trends reached a survey high at a net 3%, positive sales trends are at the highest level since 1995 and expansion plans are the most robust in survey history.

“Small business owners are continuing an 18-month streak of unprecedented optimism which is leading to more hiring and raising wages,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “While they continue to face challenges in hiring qualified workers, they now have more resources to commit to attracting candidates.”

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